My son and daughter-in-law have a list of family values that are intrinisic to the raising of our granddaughters. One of them is, “We don’t give up.”
Elliot related a recent conversation he had with four-and-a-half-year-old Olivia. She had hit a stumbling block of some sort and was growing discouraged.
Elliot (my paraphrasing): You know Olivia, one of our family values is that we don’t give up. We try again. And then if that doesn’t work, we try again until we get where we want to be.
Olivia (verbatim): So what you’re telling me is we don’t succumb.
Yep. You can bring your jaws together again.
Olivia’s words have taken on a deeper meaning in this month following the high holidays and this period of reflection, repentance and renewal. “We don’t succumb” applies to more than goals and determination. “We don’t succumb” reminds me not to succumb to my own petty, and not-so-petty, inclinations. It reminds me not to succumb to negative thinking, to useless worrying, to all those mark-missing behaviors that I vowed so recently to work on.
I’ll leave it here for you to mull over. Perhaps it will become a new family value for us all.